Meeting the Needs of Each Child

Mar 24th, 2017

Annunciation is blessed to have amazing people and resources over the years to help us meet our mission to serve the diverse learners we have in our community. Our goal is to teach the whole child and to teach children the way they learn best – focusing on meeting the needs of each child to help them reach their full potential.

International Baccalaureate: At the core of this effort is the implementation of the International Baccalaureate program. While IB’s focus on inquiry and engaged student learning provides some of the best ways for students to learn, it also is a great way to teach students across the spectrum of learning needs and styles.  We want each learning experience in the classroom to be relevant and meaningful for all of our students each day and all day.

Learning support services: In some cases, children may need extra support. Over the years, Annunciation committed resources to offer these services for students. To provide extra help for students, we offer learning support and enrichment. For learning supports, we have several part time positions that help our students through extra instruction in smaller group settings to help them build foundational skills, primarily in reading. We have tutors who work with individuals or small groups once or twice a week. In addition, the learning support staff oversee students who have or need 504 learning plans. The staff helps coordinate meetings and documents the accommodations and other supports that the students receive.

We continue to educate our staff on the best ways to support our learners and seek accommodations that can help level the playing field. This year, we have explored new options including Pass/Fail for students on 504 accommodation or IEP plans to help them succeed in their learning. Assistive technology is another tool that can help students in the classroom. Working with other experts, we seek to find new ways to offer support so each student can achieve their best.

In cases where our resources and accommodations are not enough, we collaborate with Minneapolis Public School District. All families are entitled to evaluations and assessments for their children through the district when learning difficulties continue. Minneapolis leads an evaluation process and determines if the child qualifies for services, some students attend the Minneapolis classes to access this higher level of support. If a student needs more support than we can offer, we will discuss options with parents to seek the best education for their child. In the end, we have the student’s learning at the center of all we do.

Enrichment: For students who learn at a fast pace and demonstrate higher order thinking skills, we seek to challenge them. IB is a framework that is known to support higher order thinking and challenge students to go beyond. In addition, we are blessed to have opportunities for students to participate in enrichment experiences at four levels:

Discovering and Building Level I - Services for ALL Students
Examples: Creative & Critical Thinking Activities, Projects Fair, Field Trips, Guest Speakers, WordMasters Challenge, Reading/Writing Rocks!, Battle of the Books

Curious and Exploring Level II - Services for MANY Students
Examples: AMC 8, Spelling Bee, Geo Bee, History Day, Science Fair, Math Club

Enthusiastic and Performing Level III - Services for SOME Students
Examples: Knowledge Bowl, Student Writing Coaches, Math & Reading Enrichment Circles,

Soaring and Passionate Level IV - Services for a FEW Students
Examples: Subject Acceleration, Grade Acceleration, Independent Research Projects

In addition, we offer Dimensions for students in middle school as a STEM enrichment experience. Dimensions is an opportunity for high performing, motivated, highly-creative, deeply curious students to pursue topics of interest that aren't normally covered (or aren't covered in-depth) in our regular curriculum. See the school’s website for more information on our enrichment opportunities.

For all support services, Annunciation uses multiple criteria to determine needs and identify students who participate in these programs. While we wish we could offer additional support to more students, we focus on offering the most effective support with the resources we have. As a community, we continue to seek creative ways to meet the needs of our learners and additional funding to expand services. We look forward to collaborating with other schools, programs, and resources to meet the needs of each child at Annunciation Catholic School.

Enjoy Spring Break,

Jennifer Cassidy
Annunciation Principal